Dilebang ancestral site
Dilebang ancestral site

Emmanuel Wurrkidj

1982 - Dilebang ancestral site 2007
  • ochre on stringybark
77 cm x 192 cm

Emanuel Wurrkidj is a Kuninjku painter and sculptor and the nephew of John Mawurndjul. He learned painting by watching Mawurndjul and brought his first works to Maningrida Arts and Culture in 2004.

Wurrkidj has depicted a site called Dilebang - regarded as one of the most dangerous and sacred of sites in the Kun-Kurulk clan estate. Travel in this area is undertaken with caution as site custodians are aware of the ancestral power of the area. The billabong at Dilebang is near escarpment country rich in rock art and with a high concentration of sacred sites.

The use of rarrk (cross hatching) all over the surface of the painting creates a shimmering effect which is designed to imbue the image with a spiritual power.

© Emanuel Wurrkidj and Maningrida Arts and Culture

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The Wesfarmers Collection of Australian Art acknowledges all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Traditional Custodians of Country and recognises their continuing connection to land, sea, culture and community. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

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